For whoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
I. HOW FAR RESEMBLING HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS.
1. In laying down the condition of Divine relationship, Christ does not absolutely displace human relationships. It would have been hard for him so to do, since men were being addressed, and the relationships sustained by them would depend upon the religious sanction they might possess for the measure of honor and faithful observance they would receive. That the terms of human relationship were still employed showed that an analogy at least existed.
2. The terms denoting the distinctions of natural relationships are used in speaking of the heavenly. The "brother "and "sister" and "mother," therefore, express a real distinction in the heavenly family. And there are differences of mutual service and affection which must exist within the common "bond of charity," even as on earth. In the case of those who believe in Christ, then, the beautiful variation which God has created in the affection of the domestic circle will have a use and fitness in fulfilling the duties and realizing the ideal of the Divine life. The latter has its sphere for the sisterliness, the brotherliness, etc., even as the human life; and these are modes through which the Divine love will express itself. Indeed, it may be said that the human affections of father, mother, etc., do not fully manifest or realize themselves in the merely human life; it is the Divine life in which the ideal of each is rendered possible.
II. IN WHAT RESPECTS DIFFERING FROM THESE.
1. The affections characteristic of human family will spring from a spiritual principle and express Divine love. "The will of God," or "the will of the Father," will take the place of blind instinct or selfish gratification. Thus springing from a new source they will be transformed, purified, and freed from limitation and defect. "The will of God" will be the law according to which they will express themselves; but as that will has been interpreted as salvation and universal benevolence, so the distinctions of human affection will be brought into play in furthering the redemptive scheme of the Father amongst his sinful children; and through them phases of the Divine love will be realized that would otherwise find no expression. They will thus, also, be universalized and directed into channels of service and helpfulness.
2. The Divine relationship is therefore based upon a new nature. It is only those who are born of the Spirit who can do the will of God. It is the life of the Spirit in them that changes and adapts them for the unselfish affections of the family of God.
3. The Divine relationship is a moral possibility of every one. Every woman may become a sister, a mother, of Christ; event man his brother. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.